June 05, 2018

Duckworth, Durbin and Illinois Congressional Delegation Help Secure $132 Million Federal Grant for 75th Street Corridor Improvement Project

Improvement project will create local jobs and increase safety, speed and reliability nationwide


[WASHINGTON, D.C.] – U.S. Senator Tammy Duckworth (D-IL), U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL), Congressman Bobby Rush (IL-01), Congressman Dan Lipinski (IL-03) and Congressman Danny Davis (IL-07) today announced $132 million in federal funding to the Chicago Region Environmental and Transportation Efficiency (CREATE) Program for the 75th Street Corridor Improvement Project (CIP). This investment from the U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) will help separate several freight and passenger rail lines in the Englewood, Auburn Gresham and West Chatham neighborhoods that currently intersect and create significant delays, train idling and congestion. This project is an important step in updating the region’s rail infrastructure and will help increase reliability and efficiency nationally.

“Hundreds of freight trains travel through Illinois each day using the same tracks as passenger rail, causing significant delays for rail and highway traffic,” Duckworth said. “This critical funding for the 75th Street CIP will relieve bottlenecks, improve safety and bring hundreds of local jobs to the South Side of Chicago, while also updating our regional and national transportation systems. I am committed to working together with Senator Durbin and our colleagues in the House to secure more wins like this one and bring as many federal dollars as possible to our great state of Illinois.”

“Today’s funding through the federal INFRA grant program is great news for both freight and commuter rail and the communities surrounding the 75th Street Corridor Improvement Project. Completion of this critical transportation link will improve safety, reduce rail and vehicle congestion, and create good paying jobs. I’ve been proud to support this federal funding program, which aids Mayor Emanuel and the City's efforts to improve safety and alleviate congestion in a region that desperately needs it,” said Durbin.

“This grant will greatly reduce traffic congestion and improve vehicular and train movement and provide tremendous benefit to our constituents,” said Rush. “I will continue to work with my congressional colleagues to ensure these types of federal investments continue. Improving our infrastructure and providing jobs will guarantee that Illinois remains at the forefront of transportation in our nation.”

“This is a big win for our region. The CREATE program is critical to our region in creating jobs, boosting the economy, improving Metra and Amtrak service, and alleviating blocked rail crossing. Since I was able to secure the initial $100 million grant to begin CREATE in 2005 we have made significant progress in this public private partnership with federal funding leading the way. I look forward to continuing to work with my colleagues to secure further funding and completing CREATE,” said Lipinksi.

“This funding will help modernize both the freight and commuter rail systems in Chicago, making Chicago more livable and economically competitive by increasing quality jobs, reducing congestion, and improving safety,” said Davis. “I look forward to working with my Congressional colleagues to continue to secure these critical grants for Chicago and Illinois.”

According to CREATE, when the 75th Street CIP is complete it will eliminate 18,500 annual passenger hours of delay by removing conflicts between freight and commuter trains, increase capacity at Union Station, decrease train idling, improve air quality in the surrounding neighborhoods and replace or rehabilitate 36 viaducts for increased mobility.

In 2017, the entire Illinois Congressional delegation joined Senators Duckworth and Durbin to urge USDOT to fund this project highlighting its national and regional benefits, which ultimately resulted in today’s grant. The project enjoys broad support from the State of Illinois, Cook County, City of Chicago, various business and civic leaders, all seven Class 1 railroads and eight surrounding states.